sheets of paper on his desk and handed them to me, and only then did I
understand the scope of the disaster. Due to heavy rains, the river, which
flowed from the Derāk mountains6 and passed behind the villages of
Hassan Abad and Ahmad Abad, had overflowed and stirred up several
communal pits where bodies had been buried in bulk just under the
surface. The flood had strewn the bodies all along the river’s course.
When people saw the bodies, they immediately informed the Sepāh
[militias that are part of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution].
Local members of
Pollution, contamination and the neglected dead in post-war Saigon
overflowing: Buddhist graves and Christian graves;
graves of Vietnamese and ethnic Chinese; graves of poor people;
graves of soldiers of the old regime, who died in vain for the defunct
Republic of Vietnam, which disappeared when Saigon was liberated
in April 1975 (or fell, according to American terminology).
Many dead rest here, but their spirits are restless and disturbed
these days. People say that the Binh Hung Hoa cemeteries are the
oldest in the city. On late nineteenth-century French colonial maps
these graveyard sites were recorded on the far northwestern margins of
Corpse-work in the prehistory of political boundaries
revolutionary subject they sought to craft.
Wilson distilled it down for me to one vital point: ‘That’s what the
mirror was for, so that people would look at themselves through it.’
From then on when we spoke about the routinised rituals of
Shining Path justice I would return to the idea that the corpses of
Time as weather
Sendero’s victims could somehow possess reflective powers. The
notion of a mirror seemed to overflow with significance but without erasing a certain stubborn ambiguity. Through the display of the
executed the Party clearly communicated its